A proposal for a 350 MW offshore wind plant of 175-200 turbines by Finland's second biggest energy group, Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO), for a site off Kokkola has met with instant opposition from environment and community organisations. The main criticism is that the project will cause serious ecological disruption in an area protected by the EU's Natura program. According to the Kokkola municipality, the wind turbines would "impede the scenic view and endanger bird life and fish life in the area, and also make it more difficult to move by boat outside Kokkola." The council has ordered PVO to conduct a more detailed ecological impact assessment. "What is already clear is that the environmental impact study will take longer than first thought and will not be ready before the latter part of 2002," says PVO's project manager Pekka Ottavainen.
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